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Colonial Cases

Schuffenhauer, 1890



German Consular Court, Shanghai
9-10 October 1890
Source: North China Herald, 12 December, 1890

Shanghai, 9th and 10th December.
Before Vice-Consul-General von Loehr and Messrs. Aug. Ehlers and Gustave Sierich (Assessors).
  August Otto Schuffenhauer was charged with being drunk and assaulting Police Sergt. Ros in Museum Road on Saturday night.
  Defendant (for whom Mr. H. P. Wilkinson appeared) was first allowed to make a statement. He said that as he was in the theatre on Saturday night, Ross came up to him and shook him and tried to drag him out of the theatre. Ross was told by others that defendant had nothing to do with the disturbance, and Ross then let him go and went away. Afterwards witness was outside the theatre and saw Ross, to whom he went up and put his hand on Ros's shoulder. He did this to show Ross how he had put his hand on defendant's shoulder in the theatre, and to ask Ross why he did it. Ross then hit out and struck defendant on the side of the face. Mr. Moore then interfered and advised defendant not to strike Ross in return. Defendant then went to the Shanghai Club where he saw Messrs. Bevis, Ellert and Rottonjee, who all said he was not drunk. Next, defendant went to the Central Police Station to complain. Ross was already there. The Inspector refused to hear him. Witness's watch and money were taken from him, and he was put into a cell, where he was kept till 4 a.m.
  Mr. Ch. Rudolph, sworn, corroborated witness's statement as to what occurred in the theatre, and said defendant was quite sober. The policeman was very rough.
  Sergt. Ross, called for the prosecution, said the ticket collector pointed out defendant to him as the man who was making the disturbance. Witness went up to him, tapped him on the shoulder and advised him to keep quiet. Defendant became very indignant and angry, and gave witness a push on the chest. Inspector Kluth then came up and told witness to go away, which he did. Afterwards defendant came up to witness outside the theatre, and said witness had assaulted him, which he denied. Defendant then struck witness, seized him by the shoulder, and shook him. Witness put up his hand to ward off the blow, but did not strike the defendant.
  Cross-examined - Witness was told by Mr. Holliday to put out the man who was making the disturbance. Witness was quite certain defendant was drunk.
  Inspector Kluth said he was in the theatre as a spectator. There was a drunken man who fell down in the second or third row of the stalls. Immediately afterwards witness saw Ross come in and heard defendant say, "What do you want? Why am I to go?" After Ross went away defendant sat down quietly. All this time the man who was the real cause of the disturbance was sleeping quietly under the seats.
  Mr. A. Ellert said defendant came to him at the Club, and asked if he thought defendant was drunk. Defendant was excited, but not drunk.
  Mr. Walter Moore deposed that he was with Mr. Schuffenhauer in the Lyceum on Saturday night. Mr. Schuffenhauer was standing up at the side, as there was no seat for him, when a policeman (Sergt. Ross) came up, put his hand roughly on defendant, and said "Come out." Witness interposed and said there was some mistake, as it was another man who ought to have been put out. A man whom witness took to be the manager of the company came up and said that he would give Mr. Schuffenhauer his money back if he would go out, but Mr. Schuffenhauer refused to leave. Defendant was most certainly not drunk.
  Witness and defendant left the Theatre together, and saw Sergt. Ross outside. Defendant went up to him and said he should report the sergeant for assaulting him. The sergeant denied that he had done so, whereupon the defendant took hold of the sergeant by the shoulder to show how the latter had handled him in the theatre, and asked him if that was not an assault. The sergeant told defendant not to put his hand on him, and made a blow at defendant. Witness went between them to prevent them fighting. As Mr. Schuffenhauer was in a "boiling rage" and swearing that he would not stand such treatment. Witness advised him to go away and afterwards report the occurrence at the Police Station. Witness said he would go with him as it might be useful for Mr. Schuffenhauer, but the latter said that he would rather be alone.
  By the defendant - It is not true that six or seven of your friends intervened and prevented Sergt. Ross from arresting you. There were several other policemen about at the time and they could very easily have arrested you if they wanted to.
  By the Court - The Sergt. did not strike Mr. Schuffenhauer in the theatre but put his hand on him roughly   Defendant did not strike at the sergeant outside.  Sergt. Ross struck at him, but witness could not see if it took effect.  Mr. Schuffenhauer was then putting his hand on the sergeant's shoulder to show what the latter had done to him in the theatre and asking him if that was not an assault. There were some words first between the sergeant and defendant outside the theatre. Witness heard Mr. Schuffenhauer say to the sergeant, "I beg your pardon, I am not the man."
  Sergt. Ross, recalled, stated that Mr. Schuffenhauer came direct from the theatre to the centre of the road where witness was. He might have been out before and gone to the theatre again after the occurrence inside, but when he assaulted witness in the street he came straight from the theatre.
  Mr. H. M. Bevis, called for the defence, said Mr. Schuffenhauer came to him at the Club at about 6 minutes to 12 on the night of the occurrence and said he wished witness to speak to him, to be able to say if necessary that he was not drunk. After speaking to him for a few minutes, witness was satisfied and said, "No, you are not drunk."
  Mr. Alfred Court, for the prosecution, said he was representing Mr. Chas. Harding in the front of the house on Saturday night. Witness was called to put down a disturbance caused by the defendant, whom he identified. He was drunk and annoying the audience. Witness sent for Sergt. Ross to try to pacify the defendant and when the sergeant spoke to him the defendant struck him. Witness was positive that the defendant was the man who was causing the disturbance. Witness saw defendant afterwards "go for" the policeman outside the theatre when two other gentlemen tried to take him away.
  In cross-examination, witness said he did not insist on defendant being put out, because other gentlemen interfered and said it was all right.
  Mr. W. H. Short, called for the defence, said he was in the theatre on the night in question. Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibb came in and spoke to two men sitting before witness and told them that they were occupying their seats, but the men refused to go. Mr. Moore then said that if they did not go out of the seats he would stand upon his rights and put them out. Mr. Schuffenhauer addressed the two men gently and advised them to give up the seats. The last witness came down and told the sergeant to take Mr. Schuffenhauer out. Witness said they were putting out the wrong man. Mr. Schuffenhauer did not strike at the constable, who put his hand roughly on Mr. Schuffenhauer's shoulder. Mr. Schuffenhauer was not drunk but was "after dinner."   
  Police Sergeant S. Clarke, was called for the prosecution and stated that he was in plain clothes outside the theatre on Saturday night after the performance. He saw the defendant go up to Sergeant Ross and strike him.  Sergeant Ross did not arrest him, because Mr. Moore and some other gentlemen took him away. There were two or three constables there besides witness and Ross.
  Cross-examined - Mr. Schuffenhauer came up to Sergt. Ross, and said, "D--- you, you insulted me in public inside the theatre and you will pay for it." He then deliberately struck him in the chest. Sergeant Ross did not hit him, raised his hand to catch him, and then Mr. Moore got between them. Mr. Schuffenhauer was "crazy drunk."
  P.C. Macdonald swore that defendant struck Ross in the chest and then made a second attempt to strike him. Ross did not strike defendant.
  An Indian constable deposed that he saw defendant come up to Ross and strike him. Only Mr. Moore was with defendant at the time.
  Inspector Reed said that he was on duty at the Central Police Station on the night in question. Ross came in to report the case a few minutes before defendant arrived. Defendant made a complaint but witness did not take it, because defendant was drunk. Witness told him to come back next morning when he was sober, and make his complaint then. He locked defendant up for making a noise outside the station.
  Mr. Chare James Holliday stated that a disturbance was made in the second row of the stalls by a drunken man. Witness fetched Sergt. Ross and told him to get the man out quietly. Witness saw Ross go to defendant, who was leaning against the wall, looking on at the play and doing nothing unseemly. Sergeant Ross put his hand on defendant's shoulder; then several people came round them and hid the group from witness's view, and he could see no more of them, but he saw Mr. Rudolph pointing to a man on the floor, and in a few minutes after Sergeant Ross left the theatre.  He concluded that Sergeant Ross had spoken to the wrong man.
  George Cameron said that on Saturday night he was talking to Ross outside the theatre. Ross said he had been called into the theatre to eject a man who was causing a disturbance, when Inspector Kluth interfered, and ordered him out of the theatre. Just then Mr. Schuffenhauer came out of the theatre, and told witness that he had been assaulted by the police in the theatre. Looking round, he saw Sergt. Ross a little way off, and went to him. Mr. Schuffenhauer said to the sergt., "You are the man that assaulted me in the theatre and ordered me out. Why did you do so?" Ross then said something, and Mr. Schuffenhauer struck him somewhere about the chest, and Ross hit back.
  Cross-examined - Defendant was perfectly sober but very angry and excited.
  Mr. H. E. Reynell deposed, with regard to what happened in the theatre, that defendant was leaning up against the wall and was perfectly sober. When witness saw the policeman go up to defendant, it at once struck him that a mistake had been made.
  Mr. Wilkinson, in addressing the Court on behalf of the defendant, contended that it had been shown that Mr. Schuffenhauer was perfectly sober, and that Ross had struck him after he had merely placed his hand on Ross's shoulder by way of illustration. As to what happened at the police station he suggested that the Inspector, having previously heard Ross's story, prejudged the case, and, thinking from defendant's excited state that he was drunk, locked him up.
  The President subsequently delivered a long judgment, in which he dismissed the charge against the defendant and censured Inspector Reed for his action.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School